Skip to comments.All-white 6-point buck spotted near Port Washington
Posted on 11/20/2011 5:26:58 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
Amy Mattson of Mequon was driving south of Port Washington earlier this month when she spied an all-white buck standing in a field.
The nose of the 6-point buck appears to be pink in the photos that she and a friend shot.
A pink nose and presumably pink eyes - a deer bereft of any color - means the two appeared to be observing a rare albino deer, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.
"It was very pretty," Mattson said Saturday, the first day of Wisconsin's traditional nine-day gun season.
In the dim light of late afternoon, "it almost looked like an angel or something," she recalled.
"I can't imagine why anyone would want to shoot it."
In fact, albino deer, and another type of white deer with a black nose and colored eyes, can't be shot, according Davin Lopez, a DNR biologist.
The exception is in the state's chronic wasting disease zones, where the DNR wants to reduce deer populations.
Lopez said that albino deer are the rarer of the two, but both are uncommon.
A story in Outdoor Life last year by writer Travis Faulkner says the chances of an albino deer born in the wild is 1 in 20,000.
Faulkner said these "mystical ghosts of the woods" were even documented in journal entries by European explorers in present-day Wisconsin.
White deer are sometimes known to live in pockets, since the genetic trait is passed down.
The closest such pocket in metropolitan Milwaukee is in the Dousman area, Lopez said. Faulkner describes a large group living near Boulder Junction, which has been chronicled in a book, "White Deer: Ghosts of the Forest."
On Nov. 14, Mattson was with her sister, Emily Mueller, 13, of Grafton.
They were returning from a Big Brothers/Big Sisters holiday party in Port Washington when the pair spied the white buck on Sauk Road near the intersection of Highway 32, on the border of Port Washington and the Town of Grafton.
Mueller took a picture with Mattson's camera from the car. Then, Mattson, 27, a nurse, shot more photos outside of the car.
The deer appeared to be almost tame, she said. She whistled once. Like a pet dog, it looked up.
Lopez said the DNR hasn't had any significant problem with poachers shooting the deer as a trophy.
As for the deer, the white coat isn't necessarily a blessing. It leaves them more vulnerable to predation, especially as a fawn, because it can't blend in to its surroundings.
Photo courtesy of Amy Mattson
Amy Mattson spotted this all-white whitetail deer near Grafton last weekend. A pink nose and presumably pink eyes - a deer bereft of any color - means the she appeared to be observing a rare albino deer.
Isn’t he beautiful?
Absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
Heading up tomorrow.
That’s a beautiful animal.
Sure would make things a lot easier if someone could genetically engineer them to be hunter orange.
There’s going to be a huge tally of deer taken in Michigan this year.
Hopefully some assh*le with a high powered rifle won’t kill it.
Rare indeed.I was fortunate to see an albino racon once when I was younger but to see this beautiful animal would have been something unreal.Thanks for posting.
Albino deer are protected but what about ginger deer?
probably tastes like chicken.
It does appear to be a true albino.
How often does that occur in deer?
That’s racist. I demand an equal number of Black deer.
I want the back strap.
Isn’t that from one of the Harry Potter movies? :)
Yeah, so nice of the writer to practically post the buck’s GPS coordinates. A more vague location would have served just fine.
“I can’t imagine why anyone would want to shoot it.” Most of those who have killed a white deer die within the next year! Killing the white deer is just something you don’t do!
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